I know that sometimes it seems like everyone and their dog was born with a camera in their hand and 5,000 likes on their Facebook fan page- but usually when you’re getting started in this business it doesn’t happen that way. I polled the Showiteer community to find out how a few of our Showiteers got started in this career, and when they knew that photography was what they wanted to do. Let’s meet them!
How did you get started in photography? When did you know that was what you wanted to do?
I got started in photography in a roundabout sort of way- I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar… Ok- so it wasn’t a cocktail bar- it was a Montana’s rib joint in Kelowna BC. I was making some pretty poor life choices, and finally I hit my breaking point and called my mom.”Mom,” I said, “I can’t do this anymore. You know me better than anyone else. If you could pick one thing for me to do with my life, what would it be?””I’ve been waiting my whole life for you to ask me that question!” she said. “I think you should be a photojournalist. You’re great at writing, you love to travel, and you’re artistic- you could work for National Geographic!!”
I thought about it for nearly four seconds before I decided that National Geographic would be the coolest job ever. The only problem was, in order for me to take schooling for this newly chosen career I would have to move to Calgary, AB, which was one of two places I had sworn I would never live.
“Pray about it,” my mom sagely advised. I said I would- and promptly went to a house party.
On my way home at around 3:00am, I realized that I was desperately unhappy. My friend was following me home in her car, and as we drove to my place I hit my emotional rock bottom.
“God, if I’m supposed to do this, I will,” I said through tears in my VW Jetta. “Give me a sign and I will drop my whole life in Kelowna, move to Calgary, and chase this with my whole heart.”
We rounded the corner to my house, and the ENTIRE street was covered in National Geographic magazine. I had to drive over them with my car to get home, and the last magazine was at the foot of my driveway. It was the craziest thing I’d ever experienced. I stepped from my car, and my friend stumbled up beside me and said, “DUDE- I thought you lived in a nice neighborhood, but there’s **** all over the road!”
“I’m moving,” I said.
“Right NOW?!” She stared at me in disbelief. “Ok then, I’ll help you pack.”
I applied for a photojournalism program at SAIT the next day- after the deadline. I was accepted into the program because they had had a cancellation the same day. The writing in the program came easily, and so in my second year I majored in photography for the challenge.
Nine years later- here I am, still chasing that dream with my whole heart. I am so blessed to work with women from all walks of life, inspiring confidence and playing fairy godmother. We as photographers are so blessed to be able to GET PAID to do what we love, and to be a blessing to so many. It rocks!
How did you get started? I would LOVE to hear your stories!!
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